Rand set for weekly loss


The rand was on the backfoot on Friday and set for a weekly loss against the US dollar, as crippling power cuts continued to heighten economic uncertainty.

At 0640 GMT, the rand traded at 17.27 against the dollar, 0.1% weaker than its previous close and down more than 2% so far this week.

The dollar was 0.1% firmer against a basket of global currencies.

Struggling state utility Eskom has implemented scheduled power cuts every day this year, after 2022 saw a record number of days with outages.

President Cyril Ramaphosa cancelled plans to attend the World Economic Forum in Davos this week over the crisis, which Finance Minister Enoch Godongwana told Reuters could take at least a year to fix.

The power cuts are a major source of frustration with the governing African National Congress ahead of 2024 elections where the party could lose its majority in parliament for the first time since the end of apartheid.

Every day brings new revelations about the damage the power cuts are causing to businesses across the country. A farmer told Reuters this week he had lost thousands of chickens because of power problems and that farmers were struggling to irrigate.

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